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Don Dimaio of La Plata


Celebrating the 400th anniversary of the modern novel, Akashic Books publishes a Don Quixote for the era of graft: racketeering politicians, stolen elections, and total-bullshit recalls!

$13.95 $10.46

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

“A former student of Robert Coover, Arellano has created a brilliant novel of political satire based on an actual mayoral stint in Providence, RI . . . Recommended for all fiction collections.”
Library Journal

“Fear and loathing with Don Quixote at your side! Herein another savage journey to the heart of the American dream—but with sabor and saber latino.”
—Ilan Stavans, author of Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language

“This book is like a good fistfight: You get punched and kicked but you still want more.”
Daniel Chavarría, author of Adios Muchachos

“I hope that the author is not killed for writing this book. A municpal fornicator (pot) shines a waterfire light deep into the more-than-half-full actions of a civil servant (kettle). So between the writer and his protagonist, a new meaning of ‘black’ power arises.”
—Will Oldham, Palace Brothers

“Robert Arellano is that rare thing: an exceptional creative talent perfectly in tune with his own rapidly changing times.”
—Robert Coover, author of The Adventures of Lucky Pierre


A selection of the Akashic Urban Surreal Series.

You’re walking along the road in La Plata when the fog rolls in. Giant billboards hulk close above while the lights of the city are blotted out one by one. A black limo with the #1 license plate pulls up out of the pea soup and the driver, a goon in a trooper uniform, says, “Get een.” The back door opens and there he is, all sharkskin suit and slick toupee, kicked back on the leather seat and grinning in a horizontal mirror: Mayor Donald “Pally” Dimaio. High up in the mist you hear an ape-like shriek: Ook ook ai ai ai! The engine is running. “Well, buddy,” says Mayor Dimaio, holding out a rolled-up hundred. “You want some of this?”

Take a bribe and a ride with La Plata’s favorite rogue politico through a tripped-out town of strip clubs and drug dens where the heirs of Abraham Beige, original pilgrim, rub shoulders with gun-waving goodfellas who steal their lines from ’90s gangster flicks. La Plata is a city for sale, and whether it’s a job as a cop or a million-dollar contract you want, Don Dimaio will show you the way.


Book Details

  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Published: 3/1/04
  • IBSN: 9781888451511


ROBERT ARELLANO is the award-winning author of six novels including Curse the Names, Fast Eddie, King of the Bees, and Don Dimaio of La Plata. His nonfiction title Friki: Rock and Rebellion in the Cuban Revolution, was released in 2018. He lives in Oregon. His latest novel, Havana Libre, is the standalone sequel to his Edgar-nominated Havana Lunar.

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